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ATF 41F Was Published Today

It's been a long couple of years with the fight against ATF 41P; but, as most people now know, the rule was finalized - and got published in the Federal Register this morning (1/15/2016). ATF 41F will bring many new changes to how this industry works, but here are the main things to keep in mind:

The new rule will go into effect on July 13, 2016

All applications that have been either approved, or are in process on 7/13/2016 will be processed under the existing rules; so, we'll be pushing hard as we get close to that date to ensure everything gets to the NFA Branch before the change happens.

ATF 41F Was PassedCLEO Certification will no longer be required

Once the new rule goes into effect, CLEO certification will no longer be required for anybody - including individual applications. Most people prefer using a trust or corporation to register; but, for anybody registering as an individual it may make sense to wait to submit paperwork until AFTER 7/13/2016.

A new Form 5320.23 will be required for all responsible persons

When registering using a trust or corporation, a new Form 5320.23 will be required for EVERY RESPONSIBLE PERSON.  This form will be sent to the NFA Branch as well as to your CLEO with each silencer purchase. Note that this form will also require a recent passport photo - taken within the preceding 1 year. As a side note, I suspect we'll still be talking about what a responsible person is 5 years from now... We're already working to ensure this new paperwork will be as simple as possible for our customers.

Fingerprints will be required for Suppressors & other NFA purchases using trusts or corporations

This is definitely going to be the biggest problem for the industry & customers.  As with individual applications, trusts & corporations will now require 2 physical fingerprint cards for every responsible person.

There will be a 2-year exemption after an approval

It's not 100% clear how this will work yet, but we're sitting down with the ATF to get more details next week. The way we're reading the ATF 41F ruling appears to indicate that you won't need to provide fingerprint cards or a 5320.23 with photos - or even a copy of your trust, if you've had any approval within the preceding 2 year period and your trust hasn't changed. It will be interesting to see if these applications get fast-tracked by the NFA Branch in some way...

If you register using a trust or corporation, you will NOT be required to notify the NFA Branch of changes after an approval

In the initial ATF 41P proposal, there was a requirement to notify the NFA Branch with a Form 5320.23 every time your responsible persons changed. Fortunately, the requirement was removed - and there is specifically no requirement to notify the NFA Branch if you add or remove responsible persons after getting an approval.


We're still working to both understand the implications of this new rule change, as well as to lessen the impacts if possible.  The next step is a sit down meeting with the ATF and the American Suppressor Association - so we'll see what new information comes from that. We truly appreciate everybody who has stepped up and submitted comments on behalf of our industry, as well as those who have supported the American Suppressor Association in their fight to lessen the effects of this executive action. The NFA community is growing, and I suspect politicians won't be able to ignore us much longer if we continue to band together.

102 responses to “ATF 41F Was Published Today”

  1. Adam says:

    Thank you for keeping all of us updated and making the verbage simple for all of us to understand. I have heard you on a few podcasts and enjoy listening and learning. Keep up the good work and supporting our rights.

  2. Michael says:

    The real question is what the ATF will determine the definition of “responsible person” to be.

    Trusts are laid out in all sorts of ways. For example, there a “successor trustees” who legally only assume control of the trust if the full trustee(s) die or are incapacitated. It’s unclear whether the ATF will consider the successor trustee as a “responsible person”. A few lawyers I’ve heard from say “no, they shouldn’t”, but that doesn’t really mean much unless the ATF clarifies.

    • says:

      Correct, that really is the question. Until there is something that clarifies then it is anyone’s guess. We assume that it will be all trustees but that isn’t 100% for sure.

      • Nathan says:

        This is where I’m concerned as well. What defines a responsible party and are they ever going to clarify?
        I’m also curious if they are going to accept home prints and passport photos or if they are going to require it be done by a legal entity. So many questions so very little information.

        • says:

          We are asking about responsible parties. I have a strong feeling that it will be trustees. Also 41F states that you can have fingerprints done by anyone with the equipment.

          • Mark says:

            so no trip to the local PD for fingerprints? I assume an ink-pad is “equipment”? I am surprised at this since it would be easy for the wrong fingers to make the prints…..

          • Tom B says:

            I’m not trying to be “that guy”, but the last paragraph of page 4 define “responsible parties”.

            “With respect to trusts, partnerships, associations, companies, or corporations, this final
            rule defines the term “responsible person” as an individual in the organization that has the power
            and authority to direct the management and policies of the entity insofar as they pertain to
            firearms. ”

            So, you must read the verbage in your specific trust and decide how it defines who has ” the power
            and authority to direct the management and policies of the entity insofar as they pertain to
            firearms”. Not every trust is written the same and, therefore, “responsible party” will be different on a case by case basis.

            I’m not a lawyer, and will do my best to follow everyone over the cliff, but this is how I feel it will play out.

          • says:

            You are correct. However its not how it is written but how the ATF will intrepid the rule. No one will really know till there is clarification.

          • Tom B says:

            Every reference, in the Final Rule, to having fingerprints taken states, “The fingerprints must be clear for accurate classification and should be taken by someone properly equipped to take them. ”

            On, a gov’t appr’d & FBI authorized website, it states, “Fingerprints must be taken by a trained technician.”.

            When I click the link to find a “trained technician” in my state, the only places that are listed are Police Dept’s. I know other authorized venues exist, but I’m not finding any irrefutable evidence which states I can do my own prints.

          • says:

            The way the rule is written anyone can do the fingerprints. Two different agencies you are taking about.

          • I have always found it to be easiest and best to get your fingerprint cards and your fingerprints done at your local Sheriff’s office. Once you submit your prints on their format, there is usually no lingering doubts as to WHO you are or if you have any hidden agendas.

  3. Anthony Adams says:

    Can you just apply to get your name in the system or trust or do you have to purchase an NFA item?

    • says:

      All forms are linked to a serial number. So you have to purchase an item to have something in the system. Thanks for checking.

  4. Edward Smith says:

    “There will be a 2-year exemption after an approval

    It’s not 100% clear how this will work yet, but we’re sitting down with the ATF to get more details next week.

    The way we’re reading the ATF 41F ruling appears to indicate that you won’t need to provide fingerprint cards or a 5320.23 with photos – or even a copy of your trust, if you’ve had any approval within the preceding 2 year period and your trust hasn’t changed.

    It will be interesting to see if these applications get fast-tracked by the NFA Branch in some way…”

    If you have had an approval within the last two years, then hasn’t your trust changed since you have to update the Schedule A of your trust with the last NFA item you purchased or transferred to your trust? If that is the case then your trust will change every time you purchase or transfer an item to your trust. We may need more clarification around that when you sit down to talk to the ATF.


    Edward Smith

    • says:

      Correct that is why we are having the meeting to answer question like this. There are so many things that are up in the air right now and some that just don’t have answers. I suspect that there won’t be a fast track system but you never know.

    • “if your TRUST changes…” This doesn’t have anything to do with any ATTACHMENTS TO your trust. You can add on as many items as you like, that does NOT change THE TRUST.

      • says:

        If you attachment changes the trust then yes it does. So if your attachment adds or removes a trustee then that would be a change to the trust itself.

  5. Jason says:

    So how often if at all does something published into the registry get repealed?

    • says:

      That is a good question that we don’t have the answer to. However if the public outcry is loud enough then there is a good chance it could change.

  6. Great writeup…
    I would trust the Silencer Shop on this more than any one else out there.
    No one has a tighter relationship with the ATF.

    We appreciate all the hard work on behalf of all of us.

    Charles Coker

  7. Seth McKay says:

    So under the 2 year exception after approval (i know you don’t know how they will handle it yet, but am just hoping for a tine clarification), if I were to get an approved tax stamp on June 28th, they wouldn’t require any of the extra stuff until 2 years after that date? Looks like I will be SBR’ing something the beginning of May.

    • says:

      That is hard to say. That is one of the things that we are asking the ATF for clarification on.

      • Jack Stevens says:


        I’m not clear on the 2-yrs look-back for duplicate FP cards and photos …

        … Is this only applicable to trusts/LLCs, or will BATFE apply this rule to individual F1s/F4s?

        If, as an individual, I submit FP cards and photos, say, on 7/25/16, with a F4 app for a 7.62 suppressor, notice my CLEO, and then get approved by BATFE and receive the tx stamp, and then in December 2016, decide to buy a rimfire suppressor and submit another F4, why should I need to re-submit 2 more FP cards and photos? BATFE should be able to track the prior F4 submission.

        Talk about redundancy in paperwork on both ends. I can’t think of a reason why BATFE should treat individual applications differently from entity apps for FP cards and photos.

        • says:

          Yes it applies to individuals as well. Once they have your fingerprints and photos then you don’t have to do it again for 2 years. We will keep you posted if anything changes.

      • Thanks for the update. As always with fed regs, understanding the application is not easy, and it takes time, as you know so well.

        You have my full support.

      • Herb Snook says:

        I agree with Charles Coker, thank you for keeping us informed. Will you start selling directly to individuals aft 07/13/2016? You have a great product and at a good price.

        • says:

          We currently sell to individuals and always have. You just need to select an FFL to have it sent to and we will do the rest. You will get emails that prompt you for more information.

  8. Fritz Rommel says:

    Texas Gun Trust lawyer Sean Cody has posted a video and points out that there might be a chance that Congress could defund 41F. DEFUNDING 41F MIGHT KILL IT. I’ve been contacting my Congressman and Senators asking for them to defund all of Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Orders.

  9. kevin says:

    If you have an existing trust will it be grandfathered

    • says:

      No it doesn’t matter when the silencer is created. What matters is when you file the form 4. So as long as the form for is pending before July 13th then you are good. Anything after July 13th will require fingerprints and photos.

  10. Erich Brown says:

    Wonder if the two year exemption would be a rolling two year exemption. In other words if I register something every two years would I never be expected to resubmit prints and photos? The way it sounds it would be.

  11. Brett says:

    Do you guys foresee a possible repeal or alteration to this new ruling? The requirement to be fingerprinted (even if a trust or LLC is used) is ridiculous and is an invasion of privacy. At what point will they be requiring DNA samples?

  12. Phil says:

    So, can the “responsible person” be a minor? I’d like my minor children to be included in the family trust so once they turn 18 they can legally possess my/our NFA items.

  13. Michael says:

    keep in mind all criminals are armed

    Your govt is armed

    You are asking permission to do what the 2nd amdt guarantees

    Send the traitors to their friends in Gitmo and let them sort it out



    • John says:

      Michael is right. Just what is “responsible person”? Are you a responsible person if you failed to vote, miss a Dr. appt. , forgot to get your car tags updated before you get pulled over, did not get the tail light fixed before getting out on the highway, upset your neighbor because he saw you load your guns into your car for a days shooting?
      Look at what’s happening in Oregon now, if all those people join some sort of militia or have a different view of what a local leo has are they “responsible persons”??
      The grey area is just way to wide to decide what a “responsible person” is and this bodes not to good for the shooting public. This is just more fed govt getting further out of their constitutional limitations.

  14. Ron says:

    Thanks for keeping us informed guys. It appears that the changes are still murky at this point, and I, for one, am grateful that you are keeping us in the loop. Semper Fi.

  15. So how will this affect us with current items in a NFA trust? Is it retroactive so previous trusts must submit fingerprints and photo for all responsible persons (trustees)?

    I have two purchases pending with your shop now that were filed before so will they be following the old rules bc they were submitted prior to change?

    • says:

      No this would only apply to purchases made after July 13th. You would not have to retroactively go back and get fingerprints and photos. As long as they are submitted before July 13th then you are good.

  16. Force says:

    Great article!
    Now you just need to get the Rugged Surge back in stock!
    My trust is completed and waiting on the Surge to get back In stock.

    • says:

      They are on the way. Just waiting for the ATF to approve serial numbers. You can back order it though.

  17. Mark Bennett says:

    So should I go ahead and get my Class 3 items that are not currently in my trust transferred into my trust before July 13? Do I understand correctly that transfering from my name or corporations name into my trust will necessitate a new Form 4 and a $200 tax payment?

    Thanks to you guys for keeping us informed on this issue.

    • says:

      Yes it will be $200 per transfer. As long as the forms are submitted before July 13th then you are good.

  18. Jefferson Carpenter says:

    Looks to me like it wouldn’t be difficult at all to create a new trust (copy your existing trust and change the name) for every new NFA item and then you can add as many trustees after approval as you want. The person buying would have to do fingerprints/photographs, but wouldn’t require every trustee/responsible person to do so.

  19. James Kozlowski says:

    My form 4 fpr my trust is dated 12/2/2014. What do I need to do for the current NFA items in my trust of anything?

    • says:

      You do not need to do anything. This only applies to orders after July 13th. We will keep you updated with changes.

  20. un says:

    I was curious, seeing as many if not all applicants or holders are also CHL’s it seems a bit redundant to resubmit fingerprints to yet another agency if they are already on file, and background check, etc. has been performed…. when you meet, this would be a point to ask about, because it would reduce the amount of work for them, you, and the purchaser.

    I am still not clear if you have an existing trust what if anything will need to be done, I suppose nobody else is sure yet either. It seems like if they are adding requirements retroactively, then it is problematic.

    Keep up the good work

  21. Tib says:

    So with the 2yr exemption if your trust doesn’t change, this seems to imply a rolling/never-ending exemption so long as you buy something that qualifies every other year before your approval exemption ends.

    • says:

      That is one thing that we are waiting on clarification from the ATF on. It could be that it is 2 years from the first form submitted. We will keep you updated once we know more.

      • Chuck Rupert says:

        If common sense counts with the ATF (LOL) the 2 year exemption appears to be an assumption that not much will have changed since your last 5320.20 and pictures were submitted and reviewed. Since the ATF would err on the side of caution, I doubt this will be a rolling exemption. More likely that your submission will be good for 2 years, and then need to be submitted for another review.

  22. John says:

    The two year language is the most interesting part, to me any way. It seems to indicate that if you buy an NFA item every two years you only have to go through the full process once. Does this seem correct?
    Also does this mean that copies of fingerprints will be kept on hand by the BATFE for a period of two years or more? That seems like it could be problematic.

    • says:

      Well that is one thing that we are going to ask ATF. It could be that it is 2 years from after the first form was submitted. Once we meet with them then we will know more and update everyone.

  23. Mark says:

    So if I already have a trust and buy a silencer tomorrow will I be required to do the fingerprints and other stuff or will I be grandfathered into the “old way” and will I continue to do it the old way after the date it begins or will I have to start doing fingerprints and such?

    • says:

      After July 13th you will have to submit fingerprints and photos for all trustees no matter when the trust was created.

  24. B. Young says:

    So does this effect current trusts? Should I buy now rather than later?

    • says:

      After July 13th you will have to submit fingerprints and photos for all trustees no matter when the trust was created. If you purchase now then you will not have to submit fingerprints and pics.

  25. Don Jackson says:

    Is this the bill that was proposed that would also refund the “Tax” for anyone purchasing while the bill was being considered, if so what was the result of that.


    • says:

      No this is not the bill. What you are referring to is the “Hearing Protection Act” and it probably will not happen until we have a new administration.

  26. Harold Wallace Jr says:

    Hello, Not sure if I understand totally and my trust lawyer didn’t really make it any clearer but if I buy before July 13th and the paperwork is in the system then it will go through as it does now? Or will the new requirements for fingerprints and the 5320.23 be required? Sorry but I am just unsure about this requirement.

    • says:

      After July 13th you will have to submit fingerprints and photos for all trustees. If you purchase now then you will not have to be fingerprinted or photographed.

  27. Steven K says:

    What is the point of the NICS background check? Every Suppressor or lower ar receiver (“Firearm”) Ive had to pay the $10.00 fee for this background check. Will this still apply? Weather I have a trust or not, I’ve had to get a “Background” check! Besides mitigating the CLEO sign off, this does not favor anything. What if the “Hearing Protection Act” (HPA) goes into effect? How will this affect the 41P, since a suppressor isn’t a firearm. I can beat you with it; however, I cannot make it go bang. I’ve tried, and it just wont work. It’s a tool! If the HPA goes into effect, will the price of Suppressors be going up, remaining the same, or going to be cheaper?

    Communism: a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

  28. Richard noah says:

    In one sentence you state that CLEO certification will not be required for ANY transfer but then you state that a 5320.23 will be sent to your local CLEO. Is it just so they know that we have NFA items or is it for some back door certification process that they haven’t clarified yet?

    • says:

      The CLEO needs to be notified but not from the individual. The FFL will submit the notification to the CLEO.

  29. Michael says:

    So – if my application (a trust) was submitted in November of 2013, and approved in May 2014, no fingerprints or photographs are required for any purchases made prior to May 2016?

  30. Eric says:

    The reason I used a trust for many years was to avoid the intrusive, invasive, and ineffective fingerprint, photo, and other BS. I guess I will have to make any final purchases before the deadline. I am concerned about the implications for my existing stamps though as it seems unclear if we will have to go through the new approval process or it these are grandfathered. Very confusing and frustrating.

  31. Jon says:

    I disagree with the BATFE or any other government entities making “rules” with the effect of law, they where not elected they are not congress they are not law making part of government, no people represented, no votes cast, no Presidential signature or veto option yet this “rule” has the effect of law?

    • David Penn says:

      Unfortunately, regulations, or administrative rules (often called “ad regs” for short) are “primary sources of law” just like statutes. They exist on both the federal and state levels, but on the federal level Congress delegates rulemaking and/or adjudication authority in a statute to executive agencies to implement the statute. Regulations have the force of law when an administrative agency properly promulgates them. So in a very real way, Congress is saying “go ahead and make this law for us because you’re experts in this area.” Even though many ATF agents are *clearly* not experts, if you’ve ever had to deal with them….

  32. John says:

    So I just bought two silencers in Dec and sent in the trust and am awaiting approval. Right now I have not added anyone else to my trust, other than my wife being a successor. If I add her now to an additional party, are she and I both grandfathered into the current rules? Or will we have to go through the photos/fingerprints, etc at some point this year?

  33. Ken says:

    I don’t plan to purchase a suppressor until after July of 2016. Can I establish my NFA trust before then by listing my non-NFA weapons into the trust? Thank you.

  34. Jeffrey says:

    I met with an NFA Examiner from the ATF this past week at the SHOT Show and she was very adamant that new pictures and fingerprints would have to be submitted with each new form and no exemption would be allowed. Have you seen or heard anything like that or can you confirm that she was wrong?

    • says:

      After July 13th they are requiring fingerprints an photos however, you have two years after the last approval where you don’t have to submit the trust. You will still have to submit the fingerprints and photos each time.

  35. Matt says:

    Looking for an update on this to see whether silencershop was able to clarify anything with the ATF.

    My main question is this: If I purchase a suppressor before 13 July 2016 using a trust, then buy another suppressor after 13 July 2016 and add it to said trust, will the new rules apply and I would have to fingerprint/photograph every person on my trust?

    Also, I am looking for clarification as to who would be considered a “responsible person” in my trust, and whether “beneficiaries” would be considered such and do they also have the privileges of the trust such as transporting the suppressor etc.


    • says:

      Any silencer purchased after July 13th 2016 will require finger prints and photos for all responsible persons on the trust to be sent to the ATF. A responsible person is the grantor or trustees if you have a trust or the officers of the corporation. Beneficiaries are not responsible persons.

      • Peter says:

        Jeremy, most legal opinion (including mine) appears to be leaning towards the conclusion that beneficiaries who have the ability to possess trust firearms (even if they are not trustees or grantors) will be considered RPs by ATF.

        • says:

          Correct if the trust is written that way. Most trusts that we have seen don’t give beneficiaries that much power.

  36. David says:

    I don’t currently own a suppressor but I would like to in the future. I was going to register them using a trust. Which I don’t currently have either. Unfortunately I probably won’t be purchasing a suppressor before the deadline. The main reason I was going to use a trust was for inheritance, (the ATF won’t have to confiscate any NFA items I own immediately) not because I have individuals besides myself wanting to use the NFA item without my presence.

    Would I be better off just registering the suppressor as an individual versus using a trust?

    Especially considering that everyone listed as a trustee must submit fingerprints and photos everytime a new item is acquired using a trust after July 13th.

    • says:

      We still recommend a trust and even after July 13th it will offer benefits that filing as an individual does not. The rule change will not effect Silencer Shop customers as much as others. Stay tuned for more details.

      • Greg says:

        Like what?

        • says:

          Anyone listed as a trustee in the trust can be in possession of the suppressor. A revocable trust can be changed at any time without notifying the ATF. You can have beneficiaries that can inherit the items.

  37. james becquart says:

    last time i looked these unconstitutional rules coming from d.c.s alphabet orgs were not enforceable in kansas . just saying.

  38. Tyler says:

    May have been covered already but what if I don’t have a passport? For new form 5320.23 it says you need a passport photo taken within the preceding year.

    • says:

      You can get passport photos made at several places like Walgreens. You don’t need to have a passport.

  39. John says:

    Can I have the fingerprints & passport photos of my trust members in digital form to submit to the ATF?

    • says:

      We will have kiosks set up across the country to capture the fingerprints. The ATF can’t accept the fingerprints in digital form but we print them off and send them in when you order from us.

  40. SeanV says:

    Thanks for all you do and let’s not forget those responsible for all of this. That’s right Jeff “41f” Folloder and his gang of cronies at the NFATCA.

    Boycott them and every website that related to them!

  41. D'Angelo Coleman says:

    Do you have to submit fingerprints cards for every NFA item you buy?

    • says:

      Yes you do. However if you buy from use we keep your prints on file so you only have to give us one set of prints and you can buy as many as you want.

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